Fourteen local athletes strike gold at AAI National Under 20 & Under 23 Championships!

Irish Life AAI National Under 20 & Under 23 Championships 2018:

Fourteen athletes from Northern Ireland & Ulster secured gold medals as hundreds of competitors from all over Ireland descended on Tullamore Stadium in Offaly, Ireland, for the Irish Life AAI National Junior (Under 20) and Under 23 Championships (Saturday 30th June 2018).

Ballymena & Antrim AC’s Craig Newell clocked an outdoor personal best as claimed the Under 23 200m title in 21.67 (0.1).  There was an impressive Under 23 and Under 20 800m double for local athletes, with Conall Kirk (Annadale Striders) and Fintan Stewart (City of Derry AC) winning in 1:53.42 and 1:54.01 respectively.

It was a similar story in the ladies 400m hurdles, with local athletes completing an age group double – Niamh Malone (Monaghan Phoenix AC) won the Under 20 competition in 1:03.17, while Kelly McGrory (Tir Chonaill AC) led the Under 23 race home in 1:03.50.

Shane Irwin (Finn Valley AC) blasted to victory in the Under 23 400m, recording 48.26 for the win.  In the Under 23 Relays, Glaslough Harriers’ 4x400m ladies team of Orla Duffy, Aimee Brennan, Lauron McCaffrey and Emma O’Hanlon-Leary claimed top honours in 5:21.84.

There was further success in the field events, with Sommer Lecky (Finn Valley AC) winning the Under 20 High Jump after clearing 1.70m at the first attempt.  In the Under 23 High Jump, Sarah Connolly (North Down AC) won with a 1.60m effort – Sarah then went on to claim bronze medals in the Long Jump (5.39m) and the Javelin (22.43m).

The always impressive Ellen McCartney (City of Lisburn AC) won the Under 20 Pole Vault after clearing 3.80m.  Fellow NI athlete Shane Martin of Ballymena & Antrim AC won the Under 23 Pole Vault with 4.40m.

Mark Burton (QUB AC) continued his excellent recent form with a 13.70m leap to win the Under 23 Triple Jump.  Brendan O’Donnell (Lifford Strabane AC) and James Kelly (Finn Valley AC) again showed their class in the Hammer (6kg) and Shot Putt (6kg) respectively.  Brendan won the Under 20 Hammer with 64.32m, with James taking the Under 20 Shot Putt gold after landing a 16.83m effort.

On an excellent day of action, there were numerous other notable performances and podium places.  Full results for the event are available HERE.

Note:  Article compiled for use by Athletics NI.